Spend an evening listening to Benjamin Britten’s stunningly beautiful A Ceremony of Carols in the atmospheric setting of Rosslyn Chapel. Performed by Excelsior per cantum, the chamber choir of Heriot-Watt University, and harpist Sophie Askew.
Britten started writing A Ceremony of Carols during a five week voyage from the United States to the UK in 1942 in a Swedish cargo vessel, while living in a room that smelt very bad, was very hot and had sailors walking up and down the corridor whistling all day! The ship made a port of call in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and while on shore Britten picked up a book of medieval poetry which contained some very old carol texts. These inspired Britten to start writing what has become a Christmas favourite. The final version was given its premiere in 1943.
The performance of A Ceremony of Carols will be complemented by some very old carol settings and solo harp music.
This concert is part of St Andrew’s Fair Saturday and the proceeds will go to the charity MYPAS (Midlothian Young People’s Advice Service). MYPAS helps young people in Midlothian to deal with issues including mental health and drug and alcohol use.